Frontiers of Leadership Unveiling the Lead Vanguard Approach

Vanguard aims to empower mom-and-pop investors by offering low fees and efficient systems. But a reluctance to adopt new trends has made the firm sometimes slow to respond to customer complaints.

A Lead Vanguard leader takes a different approach to leadership, one that emphasizes egalitarian principles and a collaborative mindset. Learn how this leadership style can benefit your business.

The Vanguard Style of Leadership

The Vanguard Style of Leadership teaches leaders at every level practical tools for moving people into action. It encourages people to drop habits that may be hampering their effectiveness as a leader, and it equips them with the skills they need to build strong relationships and get things done.

One of the most important traits that great business leaders possess is a clear sense of direction and purpose. A clear vision inspires and motivates people to achieve success, while also fostering a healthy work culture and efficient operations. This combination creates a strong foundation for sustainable growth and long-term success.

The Vanguard Style of Management

Vanguard is an investor-owned financial services company with 203 U.S. funds and 227 international funds with nearly $5 trillion under management.1

The company has built its business around a vision of lowering the barriers that talented portfolio managers have to overcome to deliver client returns. Its low fees and innovative systems are designed to help them do just that.

A key component of the Vanguard Method is its emphasis on studying a service organisation as a system and taking it through an intervention theory of change (Argyris and Schon 1974). This approach enables organisations to find remarkable things that they are capable of achieving from a customer-centred perspective and also helps them profitably redesign their own systems to meet those needs.

In addition, Vanguard leaders are sound networkers who encourage solutions from across teams and the wider business. This enables people to build their knowledge and expertise, develop relationships with peers and other parts of the organisation, and achieve greater success.

The Vanguard Style of Relationship Building

When it comes to relationships, Vanguard leaders are sound networkers who make a point of building connections with teams across the company. They also take a holistic view of business trends and encourage innovation.

As a result, their team knows the value of a genuine communication style that gets people out of the stands and into the game. This is why they work with our leadership development program, Vanguard Leadership Dynamics (VLD), to equip leaders from the boardroom to the shop floor with the tools that get results.

For example, the Vanguard team uses VLD to automate email sequences that go out before and after industry conferences and tradeshows to help them engage with qualified leads. This reduces the back-and-forth communications that often accompany setting up a meeting and enables the Vanguard reps to meet more people in less time. This helps them drive growth and build a strong pipeline. It’s this type of collaboration that makes for a winning combination.

The Vanguard Style of Engagement

In a world of increasingly global teams and remote work, many companies are turning to new leadership styles. One of these is the vanguard leader, which is a type of manager that uses egalitarian principles and a consultative approach to help team members find solutions on their own.

Unlike traditional leaders who try to retain control and authority, a vanguard leader will set aside their own opinions in order to find the best way for a group to achieve its goals. These types of managers are often more effective at engaging their employees and improving productivity.

The current Vanguard embodies much of the spirit of founder Jack Bogle. However, there are many who wonder if the firm is losing its way. For example, BlackRock and its iShares business beat Vanguard in new U.S. retail money flows in 2020 and 2021. This may be partially due to a shift in investor preference away from Vanguard’s popular index funds and toward ETFs, but it also might reflect the firm’s decision to abandon its 125 billion Vanguard Cash Reserves Federal Money Market fund.